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Image Three individuals to receive 30th annual Spirit of Community Award

For the 30th annual event, three extraordinary people will be honored with The William T. Newman Spirit of Community Award. Individually and collectively, these recipients represent the passion, commitment, and community advocacy that define the Award and the absolute best vision of what Arlington can be.

The 30th annual William T. Newman, Jr. Spirit of Community Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a tireless and unselfish commitment to improving the quality of life in Arlington. Award recipients exemplify above-and-beyond servant leadership and have made extraordinary and visionary contributions to the Arlington community.

This year’s honoree(s) will be recognized at the Spirit of Community Awards and Luncheon on November 17 at Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel: the annual event bringing together hundreds of business, civic, and philanthropic leaders, as well as Arlingtonians from all walks of life, for a celebration of community and the individuals who have made Arlington a better home for all of us. This year’s Honorees are:

John Foti

John has been instrumental in ensuring Arlington youth have access to year-round sports facilities, while serving as board member and coach in many local athletics programs. Most recently, John helped establish After School Enrichment Matters (ASEM) which supports students of Arlington’s eight Title 1 elementary schools in gaining access to free afterschool programming. Since its inception, ASEM has raised over $120,000 and provided over 4,700 students access to activities such as theater, dance, arts, sports activities, robotics, cooking, and field trips. Learn more about ASEM here.

Dr. Tsehaye Teferra

Dr. Teferra is the founder, President, and CEO of the Ethiopian Community Development Council and Enterprise Development Group. He has committed 40 years of his life to the resettlement and integration of refugees into the Arlington community. Appointed by the Arlington County Board, he served as a founding member of the County’s Multicultural Commission, as a member of Arlington’s Future Task Force, the Diversity Dialogue Task Force, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2012, the White House named him a Champion of Change, and in 2013, was recognized as an Outstanding American by Choice by the Department of Homeland Security.

Andres Tobar

In addition to serving as Executive Director of Shirlington Education and Employment Center (SEEC) for nearly 20 years, Andres’ community leadership includes over ten years as president of the Arlington County Crime Solvers, eight years as president of the Kiwanis Club of South Arlington, current board member of Culpepper Garden, former board member of the Arlington Food Assistance Center, and former co-chair of the African-American/Hispanic Coalition, former Chair and current Treasurer of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, former State Director of League of United Latin American Citizens, and currently volunteer Executive Director of the Virginia Latino Leaders Council.

Learn more about Spirit of Community at the video and button below: